Picture: Gallo Images/AFP/Bernd Thissen
Picture: Gallo Images/AFP/Bernd Thissen

Jeremy Sampson (Media & Advertising, February 6-12) is right about one aspect of this latest worldwide virus outbreak: the interconnectivity in modern communications means panic spreads fast around the globe, causing unnecessarily and extreme reaction on many fronts. But, as he says, correction will undoubtedly be quick — assuming, of course, we’re not in for a pandemic such as the Spanish flu of 1918-1919, which killed an estimated 50-million people and slowed recovery after World War 1.

If there was any "panic" at the time of the other 20th-century pandemics — the Asian flu of 1957-1958 (I was a "victim" at preparatory school), or the 1968-1969 Hong Kong flu, which killed about 1-million — the world did not grind to a halt. Far from it; those were boom times.

ADH Leishman
Cape Town